Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story
It was the corporate collapse that appeared to come out of nowhere. In late 2001, the Enron Corporation--a darling of t...more
* Don't keep track of how much money is coming in.
* Don't keep track of when your bills are due. Petty details are boooooriiiiing.
* Reward people for getting a deal d...more
I read this book non-stop and am tempted to read it a second time. Eichenwald's writing stle made the topic so palatable (delicious, in fact) that it read like a suspense novel - full of lurid details, unedited dialogue, juicy affairs, boardroom brawls and felonies. His writing s...more
The book is particularly relevant when we put the story of Enron into perspective: Geo. W. Bush's longtime personal friendship with Enron head Ken Lay; Bush's own businesses in the 1980s--Arbusto and Spectrum 7--also collapsing shortly after HE sold out his personal stock; numerous other financial giants coincident with Enron (eg., Arthur Anderson, Tyco, Worldcom, etc.) demonstrating the same fiscal...more
The most interesting thing for me was that a few Enron employees were aware of what was happening, but either didn't want to speak up, or spoke up and were ignored (sometimes repeatedly).
While I was reading, I wondered whether the shenanigans would have been exposed earlier if data was made available to all...more
An aging ruler must choose his successor - a boring, responsible guy or an exciting, dashing, brilliant risk taker. He chooses the risk taker. But although his successor is exciting and bold, he lacks the inner strength and moral compass to guide the kingdom. Things quickly start to go wrong, so he chooses a clever man to look after the kingdom's money - one he knows w...more
The "Conspiracy of F...more
The Enron story remains the same, no matter how many times it's retold. In matters of style, at least, Conspiracy of Fools trumps the other books on the subject. Critics' pens dangle like swords of Damocles over the cinematic scenes that are central to the book's appeal: Can dialogue be recounted so accurately after 20 years of echoes? Maybe not. But 40 pages of detailed source notes buy Eichenwald some relief from the red ink. There are nitpicks: Enron executive Andrew Fastow comes across as a...more
The details of...more
So there is no f-ing reason for me to read or even go near this book. Especially when i remember watching the enron documentary in college and falling asleep in class and hating my life.
so when i found it at my grandfathers house....fysh!...i'm bored alre...more
I had to read some of the technical stuff more than once to understand it, but even getting just the gist of it was fine. Taking the time to understand the sleights of hand that occurred makes the whole thing even more amazing, however.
Great book on...more
and there are hundreds of stories here.
Very pleasant and interesting to read.
But is it all true?
The author makes it sound like the slimey ratfink Andy Fastow was 90% to blame,
and that Skilling and Lay barely knew what was going on.
I find that hard to believe.
In any case, Skilling is still in prison.
And CEO's are still looting companies with excessive pay and outrageous stock options.
This enormous, intimate blow-by-blow of Enron's implosion gets as close to what actually happened, in terms of people making (bad) decisions in real time, as anyone who wasn't there with a concealed video-phone possibly could. Having combed endless documents and interviewed countless principals and peripherals, Eichenwald (The Informant) presents short declarative sentences (and lots of sentenc...more
Another pleasant surprise. I don't usually read books about business but was intrigued by what I remember of the ENRON story. Saw the 25 CD colossus on the shelf in the library and picked it up, figuring it would be interesting or deadly. Better, it was fascinating.
Read like a mystery thriller but also gave real insight into the mess a business can be and the human frailties of the people who run and participate in businesses. I was thoroughly absorbed in the story...more
Books like this should be required reading for Business majors. We shouldn't have had to pass...more
America who are unaware of Enron
scandal. Out of millions, there are millions
who don't know the details of how, why,
and even when this all started. Many
would recall the trials, the photos, videos
of some guys in suits being led out in
handcuffs. Many would tell others that
this was the norm of any ﬁrm that gets in
to investment trading, others would come
to believe that this was the other world,
where people get rich and get slapped on
the wrist for not...more
Eichenwald has reached definite conclusions about who was at fault for the Enron fiasco (Andy Fastow, mostly, plus a whole bunch of borderline-competent, or just busy, managers), and I wonder whether his picture meshes with that of others who have studied the system. Regardless, having worked in an office I find Eichenwald's version of the truth compe...more
You'll note I'm borrowing a lot of this from a comment I made earlier... ;)
The interesting thing is that these guys weren't the smartest in the room (see: The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron and accompanying movie). Some of them were very creative, but on the whole, Fastow and his cronies were unbelievably stupid, naive, ignorant. It's unbelievable they weren't even...more
First of all, let me say that I generally mistrust nonfiction books that have so much dialog, particularly when it stretches back into the 1980s. Seriously, did everyone involved have such photographic memories. And, while Eichenwald does a whole thing at the beginning about what is and isn't true to life, it still felt weird. Not, however, as weird as the many comments...more